Work trauma is the adverse effects and impact on the employee’s physical and/or emotional wellness, health and safety as a result of physical and/or emotional violence experienced in the workplace.
These symptoms typically include, but are not limited to, external wounds and injuries and/or symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), excessive stress and/or stress-related illnesses. (Steinman, 2003)
Corporate Aggression refers to all situations where the majority of employees or any minority group feel subjected to unilateral conscious, calculated or planned negative actions, attitudes, rules and/or policies imposed by the employer to serve the employer’s interests, in a situation where these employees feel that they are collectively unable to defend themselves and/or approach and/or reason with the source of aggression and/or effect any changes. (Steinman, 2002)
1. Definition of the term “Workplace Violence”
Workplace violence is defined as single or cumulative incidents where employee(s) are physically assaulted or attacked, are emotionally abused, pressurised, harassed or threatened (overtly, covertly, directly, indirectly) in work-related circumstances with the likelihood of impacting on their right to dignity, physical or emotional safety, well-being, work performance and social development.
GLOSSARY: Violence appears as physical violence or as psychological violence or structural violence in different forms, which may often overlap. Terms related to violence are defined in the following GLOSSARY
Physical Violence: The use of physical force against another person or group that results in physical, sexual or psychological harm.
Assault/Attack: Intentional behaviour that harms another person or group physically, including sexual assault (i.e. rape).
Psychological Violence: Intentional use of power, including threat of physical force, against another person or group, that can result in harm to family life, livelihood, physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
Abuse: Behaviour that humiliates, degrades or otherwise indicates a lack of respect for the dignity and worth of an individual.
Bullying/Mobbing: Repeated and overtime offensive behaviour through vindictive, cruel or malicious attempts to humiliate, disrespect or undermine an individual or groups of employees and includes, but is not limited to psychological pressure, harassment, intimidation, threats, conspiracies, manipulation, extortion, coercion and hostile behaviour which could impact on the worth, dignity and well-being of the individual or groups.
Harassment: Any conduct based on age, disability, HIV status, domestic circumstances, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, colour, language, religion, political, trade union or other opinion or belief, national or social origin, association with a minority, property, birth or other status that is unreciprocated or unwanted and which affects the dignity of men and women at work.
Sexual Harassment: Any unwanted, unreciprocated and unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature that is offensive to the person involved, and causes that person to be threatened, humiliated, degraded or embarrassed.
Racial harassment: Any implicit or explicit threatening conduct that is based on race, colour, language, national origin, religion, association with a minority, birth or other status that is unreciprocated or unwanted and which affects the dignity of women and men at work.
Threat: Any implicit or explicit promised use of physical force or power (i.e. psychological force, blackmail or stalking), resulting in fear of physical, sexual, psychological harm or other negative consequences to the targeted individuals or groups.